Comment of the Day: Shut down in the skyway

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First National Bank Building officials might talk about the stretch of skyway through their downtown St. Paul tower as if it's a public place, and city ordinance seems to indicate it is.

But as a photographer who has done a lot of work for City Pages over the years attests, that's not always how it works out in practice.

Here's what Rebecca McDonald had to say about the latest developments in the Chris Lollie controversy:

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We plan to follow up another phone call to First National Bank Building today in hopes an employee there can shed more light on whether the stretch of skyway in question is public, private, or some hybrid of the two, so stay tuned.

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.





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95 comments
Cheryl J. Olson
Cheryl J. Olson

From my years in downtown Mpls I know some buildings closed access to the skyway in the evening, whenever they wanted. Private thoroughfares through buildings must be secure, however, the lack of a consistent policy leaves the public confused. What appears to be public should be clearly labeled as private, and accessible hours should be posted, as well as any other rules.

Richard Lang
Richard Lang

But the bank has a choice to shut and lock their doors to public street traffic.

Richard Lang
Richard Lang

I don't agree with any prejudice, but it's the building occupants right to close their doors to the skyway. And in some cases they should.

평화사랑
평화사랑

Elizabeth, you are wrong. They are not second story sidewalks. They are owned and maintained by the building owners. The owners are also taxed on the value that they add to the building.

Chuck Bauer
Chuck Bauer

People here are tired of government control of everything. Revolution begins in the hearts and minds of the people.

Chuck Bauer
Chuck Bauer

This. Being open to the public , you have to consent to the right of way of the public. Once you understand "public right of way" you will understand that what cops did to this man was for the most part illegal and this is why charges had to be dropped.

Chuck Bauer
Chuck Bauer

Do you understand what "open to the public" means?

Chuck Bauer
Chuck Bauer

It only becomes an issue when cops want to exercise their authority over someone who is not doing anything wrong.

Hanni Kenny
Hanni Kenny

I don't understand how Aaron Rupar has a fucking job.

Alex Anderson
Alex Anderson

Did you expect anything worth while stemming from an article penned by Aaron Rupar?

Jeff Hoffman
Jeff Hoffman

Would the Pages ever consider reporting the social problems of North or South side Minneapolis?

Patrick Garcia
Patrick Garcia

I am also disturbed by the amount of people that think this is public space.

Patrick Garcia
Patrick Garcia

Uh, these things go through privately owned buildings. If some owner wants to shut 'er down they are well within their rights unless the city has bought or leased this space. Go the Frick outside people.]

Mike Jones
Mike Jones

Also, when moving forward, things come from in front of you. Watch where you are going.

Shawn Spence
Shawn Spence

Correct answer is both. Beyond that, open to the public and owned by the public are different things as well. A privately owned business space is not a house -- by inviting foot traffic, you're agreeing to abide by certain public codes -- safety, smoking bans, civil rights, etc. No doubt many businesses could close off access via skyway legally, but it's not likely to happen because they derive benefit from the public access and all that comes with it.

Dyana Boretsky Dial
Dyana Boretsky Dial

What in the He11 is going on up there in Minnesota? All I see in the news is chaos.

Don Anderson
Don Anderson

Obvious racist? Right another one of your liberal theories that the whole world is out to get you. Got news for you we are all racists even you. What specifically did I say that you think was racist?

Kyle J. Holman
Kyle J. Holman

being an oblivious racist doesn't make you any less racist.

Don Anderson
Don Anderson

If you say so. You are one of these people that no matter what someone says it wrong as long as it disagrees with your views. Just wonder if it were a white person that was tazed where you would be. No where to be found I am sure because it isn't the thing to do.

Kyle J. Holman
Kyle J. Holman

Your comments over the last couple days on various CP articles speak volumes.

Don Anderson
Don Anderson

Look at the heading of the City Pages post. That's what I am commenting on. Don't attribute my comments on one thing to another. And don't presume to know my feelings regarding people of color when I made no mention of people of color until you brought it into the discussion.

Mike Boe
Mike Boe

Well, at least he used the correct 'you're' :)

Peter Tobias
Peter Tobias

I consider them having yhe dame status as a target store: sometimes closed for the whole public, but never only for blacks.

Kyle J. Holman
Kyle J. Holman

This whole topic of discussion has came about because of the way Chris Lollie was treated while he was waiting for his kids. So either you have lost track of what this discussion is supposed to be about or you are hiding your feelings about black people behind false pretense.

Robb Thunder
Robb Thunder

Not all public... The IDS center owns the skyways connecting to their block. That block is private property.

Don Anderson
Don Anderson

When did I say anything about skin color. The question was whether I think they are public or private areas. I said public as long as they don't camp out and leave their garbage all over.

Don Anderson
Don Anderson

The question was not should young black men be tazed in skyways. It was do I consider skyways public or private areas.

Paul Bueltel
Paul Bueltel

not to mention his kids where in the same area he was

Paul Bueltel
Paul Bueltel

starbuck & caribou are private wat r u talking about

Kyle J. Holman
Kyle J. Holman

This isn't about homeless people, this is about a guy who was waiting to pick up his kids. and got harassed by security and tazed by the cops because of his skin color.

Gerhart Toller
Gerhart Toller

The question shouldn't be are they publicly or privately owned.... the question should be who were they built for to use... obviously that's the public.

Gerhart Toller
Gerhart Toller

If the skyways are private the public wouldn't be able to use them. It's obviously that's not the case.

Sharon L Keefe Borseth
Sharon L Keefe Borseth

Public.. That is what it was created for... Keep Mn people out of the cold elements .

feargal1
feargal1

Just because the rent-a-cops say its private doesn't make a difference. The city ordinance identifies it as public space. Therefore, its public space.

james_a_dawson
james_a_dawson

The city has the responsibility to ensure the general safety of the public. The SPPD does an excellent job dealing with all types of situations and people. Many people who work downtown don't leave until late and have the right to a safe passage to their vehicles.


There are some groups of people, feral youth, who seem to feel that they have a right to hang around street corners and bustops and skyways harrassing hardworking people. Some even physically assult them and hold them up.


Sometimes the SPPD has to act in a manner most of us find somewhat invasive and aggressive but they have to. They are not babysitters or social workers. Simple cooperation will ensure a quick resolution of their attention




james_a_dawson
james_a_dawson

Correct. Just because you are allowed to use them does not mean that they are public walkways. Some skyway routes transverse directly through stores and at the close of business the gate comes down. Walk over.

james_a_dawson
james_a_dawson

Probably because he's able to convey facts and opinion without using crude obscenities. You my friend would not nor could not do his job.

Yuri_Nator
Yuri_Nator

See that river right by Downtown Minneapolis?  Almost anything east of that river, the skyways are publicly owned.  Almost anything west of that river, the skyways are privately owned. 

 The only exception to that rule of thumb is this little street called "Emerald Street" that's east of the Mississippi.  Any skyways that are west of Emerald Street are privately owned.  Any skyways east of Emerald Street are publicly owned. 

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